Thursday, February 4, 2016

Showstopping Dessert Macaron - Just in Time for Valentine's Day

Just like fabulous dessert macarons we had
in Paris, I have created one for you large enough
to share with your sweetheart - or go ahead, have
it by yourself!

After four glorious weeks in Cabo, 

escaping the bitter January cold and dreary weather,
and spending my birthday on the beach,
(and choosing to have a real vacation, 
and not post anything!),

I came back to preparing a French Macaron making class,
so I have been crazy busy doing that.  
I will post more on that, but I wanted to show you
this beautiful dessert and give you the
French Meringue Method
for French Macarons.

My previous recipe was for the Italian Meringue
Method that we learned in Paris.  I prefer the Italian
but the French is easier, although I think the Italian
has more consistent results.

Tricks to Macaron making:
1.     Have eggs at room temp., and beat meringue to a stiff peak.
         2.     Weigh all ingredients. Fold almond flour and meringue together 
until it flows like lava.
      3.     Pipe out even meringues.  If a peak is left after a few seconds, 
give macronage a few more stirs.  
Test one by squeezing it through a bag or tip.
                     4.     Drop pan several times on counter, then prick air bubbles with toothpick.
           5.     Let dry on counter at least 20 minutes.  It will feel dry to the touch.

French Macaron Recipe – seems easier, but more finicky

Remove about 4-5 eggs from fridge and separate.  Let the whites come to room temperature.
Sift almond flour and measure out 110 grahams.  Measure out 200 grams of powdered sugar.  
Sift the two together.  Place in a bowl.
Measure out 50 grams of granulated sugar.  Add ¼ tsp. cream of tartar and stir together.
In large bowl of stand mixer, fitted with whip, place 100 grams of room temperature egg whites. 
Begin whipping at a medium level, 4 on Kitchenaid.  
When whites become foamy, gradually sprinkle in the sugar and cream of tartar mix.  
Turn speed up and beat until the mixture is glossy and holds a stiff peak. 
The meringue will clump in the middle of your whip. 
Stir in gel or powdered food coloring at this point. 
Dump the almond flour mix into the meringue and begin to fold. 
After about 40 folds, the mix should be starting to be thoroughly mixed. 
It should flow like lava from your spatula and when forced through a frosting tip it should not leave a peak
 after about 5-10 seconds.  If it leaves a peak, stir again about 5 strokes. 
You do not want to over mix.
Pipe into equal size rounds on a Silpat or parchment paper. 
Drop the pan onto counter several times to release air bubbles, 
then prick any you can see with a toothpick.  
You get a lot more bubbles with French Meringue, so be diligent on this.  
Let rest on counter for 20 minutes until tops are dry.  Use a fan if in a moist climate.
Bake at 340 for 12 minutes.  Makes about 24 – 48 halves.
Let cool, then remove and fill.  Cover and let age on counter overnight.
Then refrigerate.  I have found in  my dry climate, they need to age 
on the counter, not the fridge, as you want them to begin to absorb
the moisture from the frosting.

Watch this cute video to see method for French Meringue – done by a young girl.

Standard American Buttercream – flavor differently as desired
1/4 C. softened butter
2 C. powdered sugar
3/4 tsp. flavoring – I used almond for these
2-3 T. water or milk

In a large mixing bowl on a stand mixer fitted with the whip, mix the softened 
butter and powdered sugar, adding the first 2 T. of liquid and
 then adding remaining liquid as needed until you get a soft fluffy frosting. 
Don’t add too much or it will be runny.  Too little and it will be stiff.
Beat on medium high for 5-7 minutes.

To create these Dessert Macarons, make one extra large
macaron - about 3 inches across, one normal, about 1 1/2
inches across and one small, about 3/4 inch across in
whatever color you prefer.  Bake and cool.  Sandwich together
with Almond flavored buttercream, then fresh raspberries,
and more buttercream to cement the remaining cookies
on top. 

If desired, accent with edible gold for a crowning touch.

from what I have read, you want to use the
Italian gold leaf, as it is more pure.  

To apply gold leaf - 
use a little piping gel and smear a tiny amount onto
the top of your left hand (if you are right handed).
(I used the sparkle gel in a tube where you get cake
decorating supplies at the grocery store.  I didn't want
to buy a whole tub of it from Michaels.)
Smear a tiny amount onto the macaron, where you
want the gold leaf placed.  With a soft brush, touch
the gel on your hand, to slightly moisten the brush,
then touch the gold leaf.  The gel on the brush will
help you pick up the delicate leaf.  Then place it on
the macaron where you have smeared a little gel. 
A little goes a long ways, but adds the perfect touch.

It is good to be back, but I sure enjoyed my
extended vacation.


Chocolat - French for Chocolate. I adored chocolate from a young age when I had to sneak in the cupboard to find where my mother had hidden the Nestle's Chocolate Chips. Having read about the famous chocolat shoppes in Paris, when I finally got there I was determined to try a chocolate from every Paris shoppe. I invite you to share my adventures in creating, in travel, and in life.



    Simply gorgeous, as always. Welcome Back! I've missed you.


  2. Beautiful dessert...what flavor macaron? I have never tried making these...afraid they will come out badly.

  3. I've never attempted to make my own French macaron. You make it sound easy, but I know it isn't. '-)
    Welcome home! Glad you had your month in the sun and surf.

  4. Love that you have been traveling again---so fun and I wish we were along!

    Love macarons but I know they are very involved any way you look at it. Bravo to you and many thanks for sharing your recipe and method!


  5. Oh a month in Cabo! Fabulous! I will probably never attempt macaroons, but it's fun to see your pretties!

  6. That looks absolutely delicious!
    A month in Cabo, with lots of swimming, might (just maybe!) have me swimming enough to actually justify one of your creations!

  7. I'm gonna give 'er a go I first need a scale though! So yummy!


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